Slate VSX headphones: A Godsend for producers on the go.

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Bottom line up front: I love these things, they are comfortable and sound great, even without the room emulation software. The earpieces fold over 90° creating a slim profile when in their carrying case that makes them well protected and fit nicely in any backpack or luggage. They are an absolute godsend for the mobile producer, and ever since I started using them I have seen a noticeable improvement in my mixes.

I. Introduction

The Slate Digital VSX headphones are a new addition to the pro audio market, designed specifically for music production and mixing. Their unique selling point is the virtual monitoring technology that replicates the sound of different studio monitors and rooms. But beyond this, the VSX headphones are also highly portable and suitable for travel, making them a versatile choice for producers on the go. In this review, we’ll examine the headphones’ features, sound quality, user interface, and travel-friendliness.

II. Features

The Slate Digital VSX headphones are a closed-back, over-ear design with memory foam earpads and a padded headband for comfort during long listening sessions. They have a foldable design that makes them easy to pack into a travel bag or carry-on luggage. The headphones come with a detachable cable with a 3.5mm jack, as well as a 1/4-inch adapter for use with audio interfaces or studio equipment.

The main feature of the VSX headphones is the virtual monitoring technology, which uses DSP processing to emulate the sound of different speakers and room acoustics. The VSX software includes profiles for over 30 different speakers and rooms, including classic studio monitors like the NS-10M and the Genelec 8040, as well as reference headphones like the Sennheiser HD800 and the Audeze LCD-X. The software can be used as a standalone application or as a plugin within a DAW.

III. Sound Quality

The VSX headphones’ sound quality is impressive, with a balanced frequency response and detailed stereo imaging. The virtual monitoring technology allows producers to hear their mixes as they would on a variety of different speakers and in different acoustic environments. This is especially useful for producers who work in untreated home studios or who travel frequently and need to mix on the go. The active noise-cancellation technology is also effective, reducing external noise and allowing for greater immersion in the music.

What really impressed me is how much they can actually make you feel like you are in a certain room. If you want the most stark example of this go right to Steven slates room and turn on the mono Avantone speaker. It still gives me the chills every time.

IV. Listening Techniques

This software doesn’t have a “system wide” setting as of the date this article was published so I recommend using a referencing plugin such as ADPTR Metric A/B to load up some familiar commercial tracks and just do some passive listening before you start working. This helps center your ears and gets you used to the emulation, which can be a little weird at first.

Another thing that took some getting used to is the fact that these emulate being in a control room listening to a set of speakers. When you are sitting in a room you never get any sound that are SOLELY in one ear or the other. What this means is with the software active, you will always have at least some bleed between left and right headphone speakers. This can make it difficult sometimes to pick out certain panning effects as it makes them seem less subtle than they would normally appear in a pair of headphones. A good technique is to bypass the room emulations every once in a while and actively listen for these elements.

V. User Interface and Software

The VSX software is easy to use and offers a wide range of options for customizing the monitoring experience. Users can choose from different speakers, rooms, and positions within the room, as well as adjust the overall level and EQ settings. The software also includes a feature called “VSX Master,” which allows producers to monitor their mixes through the VSX headphones while using their preferred reference monitors or headphones for playback. This feature can be particularly useful for A/B testing or comparing different mixes.

VI. Pros and Cons


• Accurate and detailed sound quality

• Virtual monitoring technology allows for mixing in different acoustic environments

• Easy-to-use software with a wide range of customization options

• Foldable design makes them easy to pack and transport

• Although the first pair broke Slate customer support replaced them very quickly. The replacement headphones had an upgraded aluminum head band and they even allowed me to keep my original pair, so now I have 2… or maybe 1 and 2 halves would be a more accurate statement.


• Pricey compared to other high-end headphones

• Some users may prefer the sound of dedicated studio monitors

• The plastic headband broke only a few weeks after I started using them.

VII. Travel-Friendly Design

The VSX headphones are well-suited for travel, with a foldable design that makes them easy to pack into a carry-on or backpack. The closed back design is useful for blocking out noise on planes or in noisy environments, and the virtual monitoring technology allows producers to continue working on their mixes while on the road. The lightweight construction and memory foam ear-pads also make them suitable for long listening sessions. Personally I find them very comfortable.

VIII. Conclusion

Overall, the Slate Digital VSX headphones are a powerful tool for music producers and mixing engineers who want to work in different acoustic environments or on the go. The virtual monitoring technology and active noise-cancellation make them a versatile choice for any production setup, and the software is easy to use and highly customizable. The sound quality is detailed and accurate, and the foldable design makes them convenient for travel.

While the VSX headphones are on the pricier side compared to other high-end headphones, their unique features and sound quality make them a worthwhile investment for serious producers and mixing engineers, as well as a superior asset for those that are doing a lot of mixing on the go.

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